Flat Red Skin Blotches
When skin cells become damaged, they can affect the melanin in the skin that's responsible for its pigmentation or color. An overproduction of melanin causes dark discoloration and can occur as a result of a number of conditions ranging from birthmarks to allergies or sun exposure. According to Medline Plus, infections, blisters and burns can cause lighter pigmentation and result in flat red blotches.
Birthmarks usually appear at or shortly after birth and usually are harmless. Macular stains usually are flat red spots that are caused by broken blood vessels and can appear anywhere on the body. Features of macular birthmarks can include angel kisses on the eyelids or forehead that usually disappear by the age of 2. Stork bites are found on the back of babies' necks and can last into adulthood. According to the Cleveland Clinic, macular birthmarks usually are not harmful and don't require any treatment.
Certain birthmarks can cause complications and should be seen and treated by a doctor. When a birthmark caused by a group of broken blood vessels interferes with vision, hearing or eating or they bleed or cause pain, they can be treated with corticosteroids or lasers. Hemangiomas, which can either be small red blotches or larger spots on the skin, usually go away by the time a child turns 9 years old.
Port wine stains develop as a result of abnormal blood vessel functioning and cause a wide range of side effects. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the flat red marks, also called nevus flammeus, increase the risk of developing glaucoma when they appear on the eyelids. Medical disorders associated with the dark-red flat blotches include convulsions, mental retardation, paralysis and vision problems. Laser therapy is the most effective treatment to remove port wine stains, which also can be removed by freezing, radiation or dermabrasion.
Nearly 85 percent of people with lupus develop flat red blotches that are harmless and easily treated with corticosteroids, according to the Lupus Foundation of America. A butterfly rash commonly forms over the bridge of the nose and rarely spreads down the sides of the nose. The red splotch may be flat or raised. A subacute cutaneous lesion is a flat red blotch that spreads and becomes lighter in the center as it grows. The flat rash commonly appears on the chest, arms, back or face and is extremely itchy and sun-sensitive.
Rosacea is a skin disease that usually starts as a red blushing on the face and develops into pus-filled bumps. According to Family Doctor, there is no known cause for rosacea, but it usually runs in families. Outbreaks typically are treated with antibiotics. Flat red blotches also can be a signal of an allergic reaction. Allergies usually produce uncomfortable symptoms such as runny nose or itching, but can be serious if accompanied by shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
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